Scott Baker, although he didn’t get a W, pitched a great game. He lasted 7 innings and gave up just 3 runs, all coming on solo homers. Sound familiar? In his start before last night he lasted 5 innings and gave up 3 runs, all coming on solo homers. In 18 and 2/3 innings pitched he’s allowed 6 homers. In other words, he’s on pace to give up exactly 60 home runs this season, going off of how much he’s pitched thus far and stretching it out over 30 starts. Now, obviously it’s pretty unlikely he actually will give up that many, but it shows that he maybe has been watching Johan Santana (4 HR given up in 20 and 2/3 innings this year, on pace for 40 allowed) a little too much.
For having the “best bullpen in baseball”, the Twins’ bullpen sure has been horrible as of late. After giving up a 5-run lead last night, the bullpen shoved Jesse Crain into the has-pitched-like-garbage category. It took him 27 pitches to get through an inning that saw the Tigers get a 2-run homer and an RBI double. He also walked one and struck out one, not that they matter in the big picture of last night. It honestly seems like, besides Joe Nathan of course, that Brian Bass is the team’s best reliever at this point. Between Pat Neshek and Matt Guerrier‘s getting demolished two nights ago, Dennys Reyes not pitching that much, Juan Rincon being his typical bad pitcher without his steroids, and Crain’s loss last night, Bass’s 3.27 ERA in 11 innings pitched (leads all relievers) looks awfully good.
Bright spots on offense were Carlos Gomez‘s 5th double of the year and then stealing third and eventually scoring, Justin Morneau‘s 4th homer of the year (2-run shot), Joe Mauer‘s 2 hits, 2 RBI, and run scored, and Craig Monroe getting 2 hits against his former team, including an RBI single in the 9th.
The “dim” spots were Brendan Harris failing to collect a hit, Jason Kubel going 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts, and Mike Lamb going hitless in 4 at-bats, including one in the 9th with Monroe on first and the team down 6-5.
Apparently Adam Everett‘s erroneous through to Morneau a couple nights ago was cause for concern. He’ll have his throwing shoulder examined today in hopes that there’s something wrong, explaining his weak arm as of late. It could only be a blessing in disguise because Matt Tolbert has been tearing it up and seems pretty solid defensively, too. I’m not as down on the Everett signing as most people, but frankly I think he’s under-performed thus far. We signed him for his defense which is why I’m not upset when he doesn’t collect a hit, but when he can’t even make the throw to first…something is probably wrong.
As it was just a 2-game set with Detroit (thankfully), Livan Hernandez and the team travel back home to face the Tampa Bay Rays. Hernandez will attempt to get his league-leading 4th win of the year, not to mention pitch deep into the game so we don’t have to risk blowing another lead with this bullpen.